The 2020 NFL season has been a roller coaster of emotions for fans while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Unsure if they would even be a full season to games being moved and played on Wednesday afternoons, it has been an ever-changing scenario as the season has rolled on.
When it comes to fans who hoped to attend games at Heinz Field, the roller coaster has continued. Going from no fans to start, to a limited amount in the middle of the season, to back to only friends and family attending, those who have been holding out hope to see their beloved Black & Gold within the friendly confines of Heinz Field have progressed to where even having tickets still is no guarentee they will actually be able to attend the game.
After playing their last several games of the season in front of an empty stadium, the Pittsburgh Steelers will reportedly have some fans in attendance on Wild Card Weekend. This per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Steelers will have fans for their playoff game at Heinz Field, per source. The number is still being determined.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) December 31, 2020
After no preseason games, the Steelers played in an empty Heinz Field for the first two home games in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos and Week 3 against the Houston Texans. After a week in which they were supposed to travel to Tennessee face the Titans only to have their bye week thrust upon them, the Steelers got some welcomed to news as they were allowed to have roughly 5,000 fans in the stands for their game against the Philadelphia Eagles and Week 5.
The Steelers continued to host fans in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns as well as their Week 10 matchup against the Bengals. In the three games in front of fans at Heinz Field, the Steelers scored no less than 36 points in each contest and had an average margin of victory of 22 points.
When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced new regulations beginning the month of December, the Steelers believed they would be able to have fans on their Thanksgiving Night matchup against Baltimore. With the Covid outbreak which took place in the Ravens organization forcing the game to be played the following Wednesday, the Steelers were unable to have fans for their Week 12 matchup against Baltimore as well as their final two home games against the Washington Football Team and Indianapolis Colts.
Getting some fans to return to the stadium, even in a limited capacity, will be a welcome sight for both the Steelers organization and its fan base. Even with limited fans, the energy within Heinz Field when those in attendance are waiving their Terrible Towels is definitely noticed by players on the field.
So what will the year 2021 to bring? To start, there will be some glorious returns for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL postseason. Playoff football at Heinz Field. And, most importantly, queueing up Renegade one more time as fans support their team in making another run towards a seventh Lombardi.